Heartbroken. Grieved. Hopeful. Concerned. Saddened. Not surprised. Confident. Driven to prayer.
These and other emotions filled my mind and heart yesterday in reference to the events in Washington, D.C. And, there will be more to come, I’m sure. Nevertheless, along with many, many others who will offer their thoughts via social media, blogs, podcasts, etc., I share these with all sincerity of heart and for God’s glory.
- I was born on January 22, 1959 in Marietta, Ohio, at which time I became a citizen of the United States of America. My parents raised me to love and honor our nation, and I do so to this day. While as a five-year-old living in Marietta, I knelt down beside our living room couch at our home located on 318 Sixth Street and received Christ as my personal Lord and Savior (John 1:14; 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:1-10). At that moment, I became a citizen of two worlds, the USA and Heaven! The first one is temporal and the other eternal. The first one is made by man and sought to be governed by man and therefore has many flaws. The eternal one is the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10). I say all of that to say this, although I am grieved by the display of sinful men’s hearts yesterday, I am not shaken because my citizenship in Heaven is eternal, righteous and secure in Christ and governs my citizenship here. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Philippians 3:20-21). I’m not home yet!
- Life has been this way since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3-4; Romans 1:16-32). There is ONLY ONE remedy and that’s the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. As has been well said for a while now, “The Gospel changes everything.” Life transforming change cannot occur through governmental laws, reform, or programs. They have a degree of moral effect for a period of time but until man’s heart is transformed, laws will change and be added and more programs will be created to address man’s temporal needs. (Here’s a good read on government) That being said, the need of the hour is not reformation but transformation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 precisely spells it out, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. A good example of transformational change is found in 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10, For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. Lives changed by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) for eternity is the change that is needed.
- What I am about to say here is with the deepest of sadness. I am not without fault here but let me bear my soul. While I have called our church family to prayer this week and have noticed that others churches have done the same, I am a bit chagrined and distressed by this call to prayer which is accompanied by a “Really????” in my own heart. As a man and a pastor looking back over almost 62 years, I wish I had given my life much more to a life of prayer (John 15:4-5). Furthermore, one of the greatest disappointments of my life as a pastor is having to beg believers to pray, to attend prayer meetings. We are where we are today because, as a point of reference, the mid-week prayer meetings are the least attended gatherings of the week in a church’s ministry or have been completely done away with. Call for a prayer meeting and a few might show up, and lovingly may I say that when the meeting convenes, seldom is there heart-crying out prayers of repentance, reconciliation and renewal! This link will help us if we will follow Christ and the early church in prayer (Hebrews 5:7; Matthew 14:23; Acts 4:23-31). Prayer is the declaration of our dependence upon God as we understand our desperate condition without Him and without His omnipotent, omniscient work. We as a church are where we are because we have traded the prayer meeting for other religious activities that we must keep propped up by our our wisdom and strength and that meet our felt needs. Suffice it to say, we must begin today to live out 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalms 4, 40, 42, 86, 102, 142; Jeremiah 33:3; James 5:16-18.
May God help us! May God have mercy upon us!
Listening for the shout, the voice and the trump today (1Thessalonians 4:13-18)!
Sincerely, today, from a pastor’s heart.
6 thoughts on “Yesterday”
Thank you Pastor
Thank you for reading, Karen! A blessed encouragement to my heart!
Pastor, I understand your heart in this post. I’m married to a bi-vocational pastor in a small community in New York State. We love our church and the people in it, but (and it’s not a good but!) my husband and I are grieved by the lack of commitment from Christians. You struck a cord when you mentioned Wed night prayer meeting. It is the least attended in our church as well. We try not to get discouraged but people will go and do all kinds of activities (not in the church), or go to marches, but they are not worshiping with their families or praying together (as a family or corporately). Then folks wonder why their lives are on the rocks. . . this is all while my husband studies and preaches the Word of God in a clear manner. I’m not trying to be negative here believe me. . . . it’s just that people need to connect the dots. As goes the family. . . goes the church. . . . goes the nation! Maybe the happenings of the last few months will wake people up; that’s been our prayer anyway. Thanks for posting!
Carrie, Thank you for responding and sharing your heart as well. I will be praying as your husband remains faithful to the Lord in preaching His Word and as you both continue to love God’s people. You have encouraged me by your compassion for the flock and your passion for Christ! May I encourage you further to keep on keeping on as we live for the day when we stand before Christ at the Bema! Cheering you on and believing God for a spiritual awakening among unbelievers and revival among believers!! Press on!!
Great message and how very true , we as believers are failing our Lord every day. Let us take up our cross and get the job done we are commanded to do.
Indeed!! Thank you for reading, responding and choosing to press on for Christ (Phil. 2:14).